Australian retail sales rise 0.9%

27 May 2022

Retail turnover in Australia increased 0.9% in April, a fresh all-time high, as per Retail Trade figures published on Friday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

This is the fourth consecutive monthly rise in Australia’s retail turnover so far in 2022, following a 1.6% rise in March, 1.8% hike in February and 1.6% increase in January, according to Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Statistics, Ben James.

“The strength in retail turnover is being driven by spending across the food industries. High food prices have combined with increased household spending over the April holiday period as more people are travelling, dining out and holding family gatherings,” he said.

“There were strong rises in both food retailing and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services. This is a contrast to the consumer behaviour previously seen during the pandemic, where these two industries would consistently move in opposite directions as outbreaks and restrictions either tightened or eased.”

The largest increase was seen in food retail, rising 1.9%, followed by restaurants, cafes and takeaway services up 3.3%, clothing and footwear up 3.1% and other retail rising 0.5%.

There were declines in turnover reported in two industries during the month; household goods fell by 2.7% and department stores by 2.5%.

The only state or territory to register a fall in turnover was New South Wales, down 0.3% following robust results the month before. The largest rise in retail turnover was in Queensland, up 1.6%.

Victoria also saw increasing turnover, with a 1.1% rise, as well as Western Australia (2.2%), South Australia (1.4%), Tasmania (2.0%), the Australian Capital Territory (0.5%) and the Northern Territory (0.7%), ABS reports.